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5 small changes you can make to help the environment (and yourself)

* Main photo from PDPAOLA, Nomad Gold Earrings.

It’s no secret that the Earth is suffering due to the actions of humans. According to a recent UN report, one million plant and animal species face extinction within decades and we are seeing a decline in biodiversity at a rate more rapid than we’ve ever seen in human history. It’s not too late to fix the problem but if we want to preserve the world in order to ensure that future generations have a place to live, then we all need to start making changes, now. One of the biggest contributing factors is plastic pollution but with a little help from everyone, 2019 may well be remembered as the year the world really began turning against plastic.

Photos credit / No More Plastic

I know you're probably thinking “I’m just one person, what impact could I possibly have?” but shift your mindset to instead realise that every action you take can either help or hinder the environment and remember that huge changes are often an accumulation of many small changes. Along with joining visionaries like Fisheyes in moving towards slow fashion and a sustainable world, here are 5 simple swaps you can make in your everyday life:

1. Carry a reusable non-toxic drink bottle rather than sipping from single use plastic cups or buying bottles of water everyday

2. Bring a Keep Cup when grabbing a coffee instead of getting it in a takeaway cup. As an added benefit, a lot of café’s and coffee shops now offer a discount on your drink if you bring your own reusable cup (absolutely love my Frank Green stainless steel cup! Colours are customisable and I’ve had zero spills).

3. Purchase some metal straws to use in favour of disposable straws

4. Find some good quality, eco-friendly bags to use when doing your shopping and say no to the plastic bags at the counter

5. Invest in some silicone storage bags for the kitchen and you’ll never have to buy zip-lock bags or cling wrap again (these super cute Stasher bags are air tight, non-toxic and microwave/freezer/dishwasher safe)

Not only will the above swaps help to reduce plastic waste, but they’ll save you money over time and positively impact your health. A lot of plastic waste ends up in our oceans, which then end up in the stomachs of fish and other marine wildlife and this in turn leads to micro plastics being ingested by humans via the seafood you eat. Additionally, when you put plastic lids on top of your coffee or sip hot drinks using plastic straws, the heat melts the plastic and harmful chemicals can leach back into the liquid that you're then consuming. Plastic is an endocrine disruptor (affecting oestrogen and testosterone levels) and is linked to a multitude of health problems. So, for the good of the environment, future generations and your overall health - start taking small steps today ☺

Jessica Wall is a behavioural health coach who specialises in helping busy individuals create sustainable habit changes so they can sleep smarter, reduce stress levels, live and feel better.
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